Guangdong holds up baby-making prowess

China recorded its lowest birth rate in 40 years last year, according to Chinese media, with only 15.23 million babies being born, two million less than the previous year. The birth rate stood at 10.94%, the lowest since 1978.

People in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Liaoning were the most reluctant to give birth, with the birth rate at 8.24%, 7.2%, 6.67% and 6.39% respectively. Hainan, Qinghai, Guangxi had the highest birth rate at 14.48%, 14.31% and 14.12%.

Guangdong, despite being the country’s richest province, stayed well above the national average, at 12.79%. It surpassed traditionally well-populated provinces such as Henan (11.72%) and Sichuan (11.05%) as well as economic rival Jiangsu (9.32%).

Local media believe the key to Guangdong’s relatively high birth rate is its demographics. Many young people have flooded in from other parts of China in recent years, giving the province not only the lowest aging rate in China, but also increasing its birth rate. Moreover, the east Guangdong area, represented by Chaozhou and Shantou, has “relatively well maintained the family tradition of procreation”, according to the report.

Guangdong also has the largest pool of pension funds in China.

Read more here (in Chinese).

Unraveling supply chain complexity in the Greater Bay Area @ March 28 (Thur)

Part of the CityU MBA SHARP Forum, the event explores the compelling need for faster and more efficient movement of goods/services, labor/talent, capital and information in the Greater Bay Area. How does such a need create challenges and opportunities in supply chain management?  Taking advantage of the GBA’s acceleration in innovation, how could companies work in sync with advanced digital technologies (e.g., IoT and AI) to unravel supply chain complexity? Find out more here.
 
Where: Joseph Lee Hall, Li Da Sum Yip Yio Chin Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong

Former Tencent AI chief to head new Sinovation-backed Hong Kong Lab

Sinovation Ventures, the tech investment firm founded by former Google China head Lee Kaifu, says it will team up with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) to build a new AI research lab, according to Technode.

The new Computer Perception and Intelligent Control Lab will be led by former Tencent AI Lab chief Zhang Tong, who is currently a faculty member at HKUST. The Stanford-trained AI scientist was previously a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and had also worked at IBM, Yahoo and Baidu before joining Tencent.

Read more here.

HK youth get more incentives in GBA

Hong Kong’s Youth Development Commission has rolled out two new programs aimed at encouraging young entrepreneurs: the Funding Scheme for Experiential Programs at Innovation and Entrepreneurial Bases; and the Funding Scheme for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Greater Bay Area. The schemes aim at subsidizing Hong Kong NGOs to provide start-up assistance and incubation services that befit the needs of young people (aged between 18-40) who are about to start their businesses in Hong Kong and in other cities of the Greater Bay Area. This includes helping them settle in entrepreneurial bases and further helping them meet their initial capital needs.
 
Read more here or get the application here.

Neural research lab inaugurated

The Shenzhen Neher Neural Plasticity Laboratory, led by German biophysicist Erwin Neher, who won the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1991, was inaugurated at Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technologies under the Chinese Academy of Sciences on Saturday.
 
The lab, Neher’s first research lab in China, is one of Shenzhen’s key projects in developing research on neural science while engaging in researches on biomedicine development and the health industry.
 
At present, the lab has a team of 30 full-time researchers, including five senior researchers. The number will increase to 50 before the end of the year.

Read more here. 

Belt & Road Shenzhen International Music Festival

The second Belt & Road Shenzhen International Music Festival kicked off over the weekend in Shenzhen. The three-week event will receive more than 800 musicians of 23 troupes from over 40 countries and regions along the Belt & Road, including Russia, Poland, Turkey, Indonesia and Thailand. Among its list of performers also include the US’ Cleveland Orchestra, Germany’s Freiburger Baroque Orchestra, the China National Symphony Orchestra, U.S. jazz musician Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center. 

Book the tickets here. 

 

Shenzhen is No.2 after the sun goes down

Shenzhen is ranked the second most lively night city in China, after Shanghai, according to a nightlife index based on the data provided by China’s ride hailing app Didi-Chuxing and the restaurant review app Dazhong Dianping.

They cite a report from Beijing-based commercial property consultancy firm RET, which looks at eight “nightlife sectors” including bars, cinemas, KTVs, gyms, late-night dining, internet cafes, entertainment and convenience stores. The report studied each sector’s geographical distribution, consumption patterns and operational models. RET said that it hopes the report will provide an understanding on Shenzhen’s evening and night-time economy, which should help in planning future development.

The report concluded that “consumption time has kept expanding into later hours”, which appears to suggest that people are working harder and playing later. Expansion has been spreading from the city center, while “different subcultures” have brought new business ideas and trends for late-night consumption. Technology has become an important driver of all this change, naturally.

Read more here in Chinese.

Comparing the regions

Here is a rough comparison of how the GBA stacks up against the other “Bay Regions” in its weight class.

Greater Bay Area Tokyo Bay Area New York Bay Area SFO Bay Area
Land (km²) 56,000 36,500 21,500 17,900
Pop. (mn) 69.6 44.0 20.2 7.7
GDP
(US$trn)
1.6 1.9 1.7 0.8
GDP Per
Cap. (US$)
23,000 42,000 82,000 102,000
Cargo (TEU) 7,499 773 625 237
Airport Pass. (mn) 200 120 130 80
% of Nat’l
GDP
11.8% 37.6% 9% 4.2%
Services (%
of GDP)
64.9% 82.3% 89.4% 82.8%

The Greater Bay Area: Introduction

Map: bayarea.gov.hk

The long-awaited Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) masterplan was released on February 18, 2019. As had been expected, the 59-page English translation reads like a broadly ambitious guide to how the region is expected to develop over the coming years, leaving more specific implementation details to be fleshed out by local authorities, albeit under the guidance of the central government.

Although short of detailed prescriptions, the document provides a glimpse into how quickly the region is likely to change in the coming years: by 2035, nine Guangdong cities plus the Hong Kong Kong and Macau SARs (“9+2”) should be the world’s leading “bay area”. This would involve roughly doubling the region’s GDP over the next 15 years, thereby surpassing Greater Tokyo, Greater New York and Greater San Francisco.

Continue reading The Greater Bay Area: Introduction